Monthly Archives: July 2011

Return Of The Son Of Spam

I’m sure by now you know I sometimes have fun with spammers, like the woman who wanted me to adopt her bulldog and my good friend Fidelis Okanume, who wanted me to help him embezzle a poopton of money from his boss (the President of Nigeria!). Not too long ago I received the following email from my soon-to-be best friend Mr. M K T Cheung:

From: Mr.M K T Cheung
To: undisclosed-recipients
Subject: Private Message!

Dear Intending Partner

My name is Mr.M K T Cheung, I have a monetary deal for you. If you are interested reply to this message and I will send you the full details and more information about myself and the transaction. My personal email is:

Mr.M K T Cheung
Thank you

Now, I don’t know about you, but that just sounds too tempting to pass up. And I really fell for the “Dear Intending Partner” opening. I mean, really. It’s like he knows we’re gonna be BFFs! Naturally, I replied:

From: Boochen
Subject: RE: Private Message!

Hello! And Happy Greetings!

Please do reply and tell me more of the full details of the monetary deal of which you have interested me!

Thanking you profusely and happily!


I worried that might be completely overboard, but I figured he might just chalk it up to me being really really excited at the prospect of his offer.

From: Cheung Mkt []
To: Boochen
Subject: Thank you for your response to my email

Hello ,
Thank you for your response to my email and your willingness to partner me in this endeavor, considering the money involved, and due to the nature of this transaction, it is necessary for you to be sure of whom you are transacting with, you can visit our webpage here: ( ) and you shall find me among the board of directors. You can also check on my biography from this link as well ( ) you can also call our official line +852-282-21111 , but do not talk about this transaction or I may deny knowing you, when you call? ask of Mr.M K T Cheung chairman HSBC and if I’m on sit, then your call shall be transfer to me, what I will want you to do is to abolish the call before I talk because my official line are not secured means to reach me bearing in mind, the nature of this transaction, because they are periodically monitored to assess our level of customer care in line with our Total Quality Management.

Our client BRIGADIER AMER ALI NAYEF, a businessman and also who was with the Iraqi forces, made a fixed deposit, of Twenty Two million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars only in my branch, a number of notices was sent to him, before the war which began in 2003 and also after the war but, no response came from him. We later found out that Brigadier Amer Ali Nayef was shot dead along with his son, Khalid Amer also in the force as they left the family home for work in the south of the city.

After more inquiry it was also discovered that the late Brigadier, did not declare any next of kin in his official papers including the paper work of his bank deposit. What bothers me most is according to the laws of my country at the expiration of 8 years the funds will be reverted to the ownership of the Hong Kong Government if nobody comes for the funds, Against this scenery, I have all the information needed to claim these funds and I want you to act as the beneficiary of the deposit, there is no risk involved in this matter, as we are going to adopt a legitimate method and the attorney will prepare all the necessary documents.

All I require is your honest co-operation and I guarantee that this will be executed under a legitimate arrangement that will protect you from any breach of the law. I want to be sure that you are ready, to execute this transaction with me, What I expect from you is trust and commitment, I want this large sum of money transferred with your assistance and you should have nothing to worry about regarding legality AT ALL, because what affects you? Shall also affects me too, considering the paper work we are about to sign together but, I will appreciate you to follow my directives amicably as everything shall be done in accordance passing through all international banking laws, and as a banker I know that if we follow up this transaction diligently it would be completed within 9 working days.

Moreso, please check the following link as well for more details of the death of Brigadier Amer Ali Nayef,
I have attached to this mail, an agreement letter which you are to fill and sign, then scan and send it as an attachment via E-mail to me, before the Attorney can go ahead with the preparation of the required documents that shall place you as the sole beneficiary to the funds.

Please reply soonest with the signed agreements letter.

Kind Regards
Mr.M K T Cheung

Of course, this story is completely believable, what with all the phone numbers and links to legitimate banking sites and news stories. Completely different from all those other scams…er, offers.

From: Boochen
Subject: RE: Thank you for your response to my email

Again Hello! And Happy Greetings to you!

I must tell you in confidence I am very excited by this alluring proposal! I have done as you instructed, phoning your office and Terminating the call as it was transferred! I hope you knew when there was no one on the line that it was I who had initiated the transactional contact with you!

I am impatiently and excitedly awaiting your further instructions as I prepare to receive this large sum of money!

Thanking you heartily and thoroughly!


Now, I did lie a little. I never called his office. I also deliberately ignored the form he wanted me to fill out and return to him. Here’s the form, borrowed from another person’s interactions with this scam (note that Mr. MKT Cheung is going by the name Vincent here, though it’s otherwise the exact same form):

Yes, of course this is a totally real legal-type document!

From: Cheung Mkt []
To: Boochen
Subject: Dear Friend

Dear Friend

If you want to do this transaction with me please fill and send back the agreement letter for the execution process, before I provide you with further details.

I await your urgent response.
Your Brother,
Mr.M K T Cheung

Not really gonna sign that thing, friend, even if we are brothers. But let’s see if I can drag this out a little longer.

From: Boochen
Subject: RE: Dear Friend

Astonishing greetings to you my Friend!

I am prepared to commence with our winning transactional endeavor! Please helpfully submit the document of which you speak, that I may inscribe my details forthwith!

Awaiting your reply with swiftness and excitement!

Oddly enough, my friend and brother simply sent me the same response as before:

From: Cheung Mkt []
To: Boochen
Subject: Dear Friend

Dear Friend

If you want to do this transaction with me please fill and send back the agreement letter for the execution process, before I provide you with further details.

I await your urgent response.
Your Brother,
Mr.M K T Cheung

Maybe he didn’t know how sad he was making me. Or maybe he didn’t realize I was really serious about our deal. I tried to convey to him the depth of my feelings in one last email.

From: Boochen
Subject: RE: Dear Friend

Melancholious greetings to you, My friend?

Misdisconsolation grows with every passing day! Why do you disengage from our transactional collaboration! I very mostly wish to continue this fraternization with you, yet you withhold from me the very thing you wish me to inform! How am I to proceed? Please, I must have your assistance!

Wetly awaiting your speeding response!


And I continue wetly awaiting…


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Filed under *The Coffee Shop Days*, Humor, Just Wow, Oh The Humanity!

Business, None Of Yours

It’s been too long since I posted anything here. I won’t make excuses about it. I just haven’t felt like blogging. But I do have a story for you, so there’s that.

A few weeks ago, a very busy Sunday morning. We were terribly understaffed that day, so the long lines seemed longer and short tempers seemed shorter. In the midst of this delicate ballet of chaos, this happened:

Cool Customer: “Did you just steal that?”

Uncool Customer: “What? No. I didn’t.”

Cool Customer: “Yes, you did. I just saw you take that.”

Not entirely sure what was happening, I looked over the pastry case to see the Uncool Customer was one of our cheaters who doesn’t like to pay the price of the thing she’s ordering, preferring instead to tell us what she pays for. Yeah, no.

Cool Customer (to me): “She just took the ads out of the Sunday paper right there.”

Uncool Customer (to the Cool Customer): “You know, I didn’t. And it’s none of your business anyway.”

Cool Customer: “Yes, I watched you. You took them right out of the paper there. Those are for sale, they’re not just there for you to take. And it is my business. I come here and spend my money here to support this business and when you steal from them, you make it my business. So why don’t you just put that back?”

I’m so in love with my customer right now, I can’t even speak. I whisper “thank you” to her.

Uncool Customer: “You know, whatever. I’ll put it back, then. You don’t have to be so rude about it.”

Cool Customer: “You stole from this store and you act like it’s not a big deal. Who’s being rude? Put them back. In fact–” she yoinks the ads out of the thief’s hands and passes them to me–“Why not just give them back now?”

I take the ads and place them on my side of the counter, noting many approving looks from folks in line.

Uncool Customer: “You know, it’s not a big deal. I didn’t take it off the rack, it was from over there.” She gestured toward the basket where people put papers they’ve paid for and read, so others can read them.

Cool Customer: “Yeah, no you didn’t. You took it from the rack there. Those are for sale. The store is supposed to sell those.”

Me: “Did you take it from the rack there?”

Uncool Customer: “Well, yeah, but…”

Me: “Yeah, see those are for sale. People expect to get the whole paper when they buy one. If you want to look in the basket for the ads, that’s fine. Those are paid for.”

Orders are taken and Cool and Uncool move down to pick up their drinks. We continue down the line, helping the customers who patiently waited while that scenario played out. A minute or so later and my supervisor motions to me. I step over and she asks “Did we charge her for a paper?” indicating Uncool Customer. “Nope. We didn’t,” I say as I head back to my register. On my way I hear the supervisor say “We can help you buy a paper if you like…”

A short time later, Uncool Customer appears at my end of the counter again. I’m getting pastries out of the case and she stands there with her hand on her hip and a says with a sneer, “You know, I’ve been coming to this store for 15 years and I don’t appreciated being treated that way.”

Me: “Really? You’ve been coming here all that time, stealing our papers and paying a fraction of the cost of your drink and you don’t like being called out on your shitty behavior?”

Out loud I said, “Well, I understand that. But you should know that the newspapers are there for us to sell. If we don’t sell them, we still have to pay for them. If they’re incomplete, people may not want them and then the store still has to pay for them. It’s our responsibility to sell them, you see?”

Uncool Customer: “But what’s the difference? I took it from the basket.”

Me: “No, you said you took the ads out of the paper on the rack, which is also what the other customer said.”

Uncool Customer: “Well, it doesn’t matter anyway. Most people just throw the ads away…”

Me: “That may be, but you can’t just take them out of the papers we’re supposed to sell. If you want to take them from papers people have bought and left here, that’s fine. But not the ones we need to sell.”

Uncool Customer: “It’s not a big deal, you know. All my friends get the paper and they just throw them away, so it doesn’t matter.”

Me: “Then why not mooch the ads off your fucking friends instead of stealing from us?”

Out loud I said, “Well, again, that may be. But as I said, we need to sell the papers and don’t want to be selling them missing any sections, including the ads.”

Uncool Customer: “Well, I just take them home to read and then I bring them back when I’m done.”

Me: “Uhhhh, yeah. That sounds plausible. You really think I’m stupid, don’t you?”

Out loud: “In any case, you can’t take the ads from papers we need to sell. That’s really the bottom line there.”

Uncool Customer: “Fine, I’ll just get them from the basket. But I don’t like how I was treated.”

Ugh. Every time it was explained to her that she can’t just take the ads out of the paper, she changed her tack: “It’s not important” “People just throw them away” “My friends all…” “I just borrow them” and on and on.

Lady, you are not the victim here. You are the thief. You got caught. Deal with it.


Filed under *The Coffee Shop Days*, Just Wow, Oh The Humanity!

Time Is An Illusion

Lunchtime, doubly so. So said the great Douglas Adams. Of course, that doesn’t excuse the two weeks, give or take, that have passed since my last post. Well, you know… work, life, laziness… excuses of one kind or another. I’m here now, and maybe probably back on the bloggy horse.

Really busy at work yesterday, slammin’ busy. Long lines for many hours with little relief. It’s good, but exhausting. Patience wears thin on both sides of the counter. Yesterday, The Boss decided we needed to listen to classical music for four hours. Now, I’ve got nothing against classical, but it’s not exactly conducive to, you know, being energetic at work. I’m guessing he thought it would help keep the patients, er, customers calm.

In the midst of all that came this interesting display of selfish customer nonsense. Imagine, if you will, waiting patiently in line until it’s your turn. While ordering, imagine another customer who’s already completed her order and is on her way out with her drink. Picture her, in your mind’s eye, spotting a CD she can’t live without. Now, see her behind you, waving to the clerk with the CD as if to say “I want this.” The clerk notices her over your shoulder and smiles, nodding. Now, imagine her, as you’re still mid-transaction, barging in next to you at the register, thrusting that precious CD toward the clerk so he can ring it up for her real quick. “WTF?” you think to yourself.

Now, imagine the look of shock and dismay on her face as the clerk smiles and calmly (perhaps thanks to the music?)  says, “Yes, I can get that for you. Just go ahead and get in the line.” The clerk gestures to the end of the line, which is now only about six customers.  Satisfying, right?

“Wait. I have to get back in line?” She pouts, sighs and ultimately leaves, returning us to our happy place.

No, of course you don’t have to get back in line. Buying your drink five minutes ago entitles you to come back at any time and go straight to the front of the line. These other customers don’t matter. They might not even exist.


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Filed under *The Coffee Shop Days*, Just Wow, Retail Rant